China Central Television, the state-run Chinese television network, said the N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver would face “retribution” for saying that the Chinese government asked him to fire a league executive who supported the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong this month.
The public threat was broadcast Saturday evening in a commentary, in which CCTV also said that “it is ugly for the president of an internationally influential sports league to openly make up a lie to discredit China.” The broadcast picked up traffic in Chinese media outlets like the South China Morning Post.
An N.B.A. spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The incident was the latest escalation in a feud that took the league by surprise early this month, when Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted to Twitter and quickly deleted an image supportive of the demonstrators in Hong Kong.
On Thursday, speaking at the Time 100 Health Summit, Silver said that the Chinese government had asked the N.B.A. to fire Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets.
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